When Illness Isn’t Inspiring

Warning: I’m about to be negative.

I’m so tired.

And it’s not the kind of tired that can be cured with sleep.

I haven’t written a blog post about diabetes in a while for a few reasons. First of all, I worry that I sound like a broken record. Second, I often feel like my words fall on deaf ears. And third, I’m overwhelmed. I have so many things to say about my experience with this disease that it’s easier not to begin writing them at all.

But today, coming off of yet another twelve-hour blood sugar rollercoaster, I have to say something or I just might burst.

I hate this disease. 

I try to keep things in perspective. I have an amazing life. Things could be worse. My struggles have made me stronger. All the classic inner pep-talks. 

I try to inspire those that are struggling with mental and physical health issues of their own.

But sometimes, I don’t feel like much of an inspiration. Sometimes I feel like having a tantrum.

Why me?

I am a good person. I’ve spent most of my life putting others first. I work really freaking hard. I am wildly empathetic towards strangers and loved ones alike. I’m a rule follower. I live a healthy lifestyle. I am always there to provide a listening ear and advice to those that need it. 

So, why me?

Why is it my body that has to attack itself? Why am I the one that has to spend hours on the phone fighting with insurance companies to get the medicine I need to survive? Why do my parents have to constantly worry if I will wake up? Why do have to plan every moment of my life at just 27? Why do I have to base where I live, where I work and even who I date around my illness? Why do I have to feel sick more often than I feel healthy? 

I usually tell myself that I was given this disease because I can handle it.

But why should I have to?

The past couple of years, my diabetes has gotten even harder to control. Ridiculously hard. No matter what I do, my body won’t comply. It’s like every day is a test to see how much I can handle before I break.

And sometimes, I feel like I am breaking.

Most people, including my amazingly supportive friends, think that extreme high blood sugars and extreme low blood sugars only happen every so often. They seem to assume that I spend most of the time in range, in control of my body, and that these scary moments are just flukes. 

But that’s not the case.

In fact, I spend a huge percentage of my day—every day—at a scary number. 

Sure, some days are certainly better than others. But I’ve never had a day where my numbers were completely normal. Not one day in nearly twelve years with this disease. 

Because my symptoms aren’t visible, people don’t take them seriously—unless I’ve reached the level of low where I’m noticeably shaking and incoherent.

It’s a constant physical battle. Every single minute of every single day. And yes, that includes the minutes I’m asleep. The minutes I’m working. The minutes I’m showering. The minutes I’m on the subway. The minutes I’m at a fucking funeral.

That constant physical battle leads to an even worse mental one.

I feel frustrated. I feel misunderstood. I feel alone. I feel scared. I feel depressed.

I feel angry.

Think of the constants in your life.

Your job: you can take a day off.

Your workout routine: you can take a day off.

Your education: you can take a day off.

Your relationships: you can take a day off.

Me?

I can’t take a day off from my disease.

Not one.

I can’t even take a minute off.

Not one minute, in my entire life, ever.

And that’s an exhausting reality.

But, it’s my reality.

For whatever reason, this is my life. 

And sometimes, I just need to have a tantrum.

Colorfully Yours,

Haley

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